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Trust’s new, exciting project builds on Whitchurch regeneration plans

A building project that will bring much needed housing, healthcare facilities and a community hub to Whitchurch has been given the green light following an investment boost from Shropshire Council.

The development, a collaboration between Shropshire Council, Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group and The Wrekin Housing Trust, promises to revitalise the outdated and run-down area of Pauls Moss, delivering facilities and services that address the needs of a growing, and ageing population.

As part of wider regeneration plans for the town, the Pauls Moss scheme will join three existing GP practices in a modern, purpose-built medical centre, offer combined housing and care services for the over 55 age group and provide a community space for activities and events. Shropshire Council formally agreed to support the scheme at meetings of Cabinet and full Council last week.

Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council’s deputy leader and Cabinet member for corporate and commercial services, said: “This exciting and innovative project is brilliant news for Whitchurch and Whitchurch residents. It provides an opportunity to link the medical centre and housing with a community hub space that will enable local partners to provide a wide range of activities and services to local residents and patients. The need for a new medical centre in Whitchurch is well known. This project will make sure that this need is met, and that Whitchurch has modern, accessible, and fit-for-purpose facilities that will help deliver the best services for patients, but also attract a high-quality workforce to the town.”

A mix of affordable, luxury retirement apartments and adapted bungalows designed specifically for over 55s, all with on-site support and care services, are aimed at helping the town’s older residents live independently for longer. Multi-use spaces where people and groups can meet are also planned as part of the scheme, with a focus on providing health and wellbeing programmes for the benefit of the whole community. A healthy café and outdoor gym are just some of the features proposed, as well as the buildings incorporating assistive technologies that will make them accessible for all.

Managing Director of The Wrekin Housing Trust, Wayne Gethings, said: “Shropshire as a whole needs to address the fact that it has an increasingly ageing population whose needs are currently not being met. Together with the Council and the SCCG, we’ve designed a forward-thinking solution that will provide attractive, modern facilities that will not only fulfil the needs of today, but also be there for future generations.

“Combining specialist retirement housing with health and social care facilities is a model that is already proving popular, and invaluable, elsewhere in the county, and we’re thrilled Shropshire Council is supporting this development in Whitchurch, which will enrich the town.”

Dr Julian Povey, Chair of Shropshire Clinical Commissioning and GP, said: “This is a really exciting project that brings health and social care together to support patients and local people. It will become a real community asset by uniting local services on to a single, dedicated site with purpose-built facilities.”

Brian Reynolds, Programme Director - One Public Estate, Local Government Association, said: “Shropshire’s One Public Estate Partnership have worked at pace to bring this project forward since receiving the OPE funding earlier in the year. We look forward to seeing this rural health project progress and support the people of Whitchurch.”

The project is expected to take three years to complete and will be funded by Shropshire Council, The Wrekin Housing Trust, Homes England, NHS England, Shropshire CCG and the One Public Estate programme.

9th August 2018